Tenant changed lock – is the landlord obliged to pay?

Tenant changed lock – is the landlord obliged to pay?

8:46 AM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago 33

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Hi, We moved into a property on a Friday afternoon, when we came in we noticed that the main lock on the door was not secured (the bottom lock we didn’t get keys for). We tried calling the emergency out of hours number for the management (as it was Fri afternoon) but no answer, so we called down an emergency locksmith who changed the lock and advised that the bottom lock is not fire safe and also needs changing, and they changed both.

I approached the landlord, and he said that although I shouldn’t have changed the locks as he would have sent the worker (but I deemed it as an emergency) he is willing to compensate but only reasonable charges.

So the company that I used charged a total of £775.25 to change 2 locks, the top was a number lock they changed to reg yale/latch and the bottom one they changed to thumbturn deadlock.

However, on the invoice, they write that the material was each lock £250 and the rest for the callout and labour.

So the landlords claims the following,
1) he could have sent his own guy
2) if the top lock wasn’t secured, it doesn’t mean we were allowed to change both locks
3) a landlord is only responsible on such scenarios if it’s a sensible fee, but to charge for a lock £250 when online it costs only £60 he should not be responsible.

Can anyone advise what the LAW is here?

Thank you very much



by Nikki Palmer

10:53 AM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago

Wow! Because you deemed it to be an emergency doesn't mean it was.

This should have been discussed with your Landlord in the first instance before you embarked on your spending spree. All you have said is that you tried to contact the management company but you have not indicated if this is the block management company or the managing agent for the property.....and no indication of when you chose to move in; all of which are fairly immaterial as you still acted without authorisation.

Your Landlord sounds as if they have been more than generous with their offer.

by Nikki Palmer

10:57 AM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 13/10/2021 - 10:29
I think, although may be wrong, that a 'fireproof' lock is one that opens with the turn of a knob thingy on the inside rather than having to hunt for keys for a mortice in the event of a fire?

by Paul Maguire

11:03 AM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago

Wasn't "Fire safe" so should've had a thumb-turn lock on the inside in case of fire....but if no keys were supplied it was unable to be locked in the first place so was rendered Fire-Safe imo.
Letting agents and landlords are supposed to provide phone numbers that will be answered 24/7. Their office number is unlikely to comply although in my experience, that's the number supplied.

by Ian Narbeth

12:05 PM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago

This seems to be a clear case of the locksmiths vastly overcharging. Absent a true emergency the tenant will have to bear the excess over what would have been a reasonable charge.

We had a case where the extortionate expense was by a drain-cleaning company. Tenant had sewage backing up into the house at the weekend. Managing agents did not respond so he called one of the franchise outfits from Yellow Pages. Their printed contract provided for separate charges for labour and equipment hire (which of course they owned) and had blanks for the hourly rate for the labour and the equipment. I assume they priced according to what they thought the tenant could pay and how desperate they were.
We agreed to reimburse because it was a genuine emergency, our agents had let them down and the tenants were an elderly couple who had acted reasonably and had been taken advantage of. They had been good tenants for many years. It did cost about two months' rent so was painful.

by No hate plz

12:54 PM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago

Jeje, let's not pretend this is something it is not. You moved in to a house and got the locks changed for the most expensive ones possible and want the landlord to pay. As far as LAW goes, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement for unauthorised alterations to the property & depending on wording with holding keys from the landlord/Agent. You need to get a set of keys to the Agent/Landlord ASAP at your cost and be aware that if the locks are up to the standard required by the landlord/their insurance or you fail to give the key code card at the end of the tenancy then you will be charged for replacing the locks.

by Paul Shears

19:19 PM, 13th October 2021, About 4 days ago

£775.25 to change 2 locks! Come on! You got totally ripped off because you did not take some basic responsibility as a consumer. First find out how much a couple of locks cost. then, assuming that you cannot change a lock yourself, realise that this is nothing more than a basic D.I.Y. skill level task and manage the matter accordingly.
Mistakes get made and you have failed to optimise the first mistake which was that the locks were faulty. I am assuming that this was actually the case of course because I have grave doubts regarding the integrity of the people that you have mistakenly hired.
The landlord must be very worried about what this bodes for the future.

by Accommod8

0:07 AM, 14th October 2021, About 3 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 13/10/2021 - 19:19
That does seem a bit harsh on Jaje (Paul at 19.19).
Almost all of the blame has to lie with the pirate tradesman.

by Paul Shears

0:41 AM, 14th October 2021, About 3 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Accommod8 at 14/10/2021 - 00:07Ultimately I always blame the person who pays the money. I have found this to be the case in every large corporation that I have had dealings with and I have seen it in almost every individual that claims it is someone else's fault. Yes people do get ripped off by scam merchants. Of course they do. But that is absolutely no excuse here. None whatsoever.

by Mike

2:22 AM, 14th October 2021, About 3 days ago

You have been mugged, simple as that, your landlord has no obligation to pay you any more than what should be a reasonable cost to replace a lock,
For £775.00 you could invite 10 friends for 5 COURSE MEAL at celebrity Michelin star restaurant.
or you could buy a decent brand new condensing boiler.
or You could go on a week long holiday to Spain with all meals included
or you could buy a good runner with less than 50K miles on the clock.
Or you could take 10 friends to see a top club football match.
But sadly you spent £775.00 only just to take one step outside your house! SO SAD.

But worry not, its not your fault, it is the bloody greedy ripping off Locksmith who should be exposed and reported to trading standards to investigate.

by Mick Roberts

8:34 AM, 14th October 2021, About 3 days ago

I could get a brand new composite door fitted for that-With Locks & keys.
I always offer to meet me tenants full cost or halfway if they want something that they want & I don't think house needs etc. But if someone rang me next day to say £775-I'd either laugh or cry.

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